Point Grey Tidal Marsh Project

August 12, 2015

Project status

Design, permitting and approvals phase

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is currently working to advance the necessary permits and approvals required for the proposed Point Grey Tidal Marsh Project.

In July 2015, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority submitted an exemption application to the BC Environmental Assessment Office for the proposed project. Projects can be exempted from Provincial Environmental Assessment if they are unlikely to result in significant adverse environmental, social, economic health or heritage effects.  This exemption application was made for administrative coordination purposes.  Taking into account the fish and wildlife habitat development and improvement character of the project, the project is not likely to result in significant adverse environmental, social, economic health or heritage effects. The BC Environmental Assessment Office has notified Vancouver Fraser Port Authority of the approval of this exemption request. Further information is available on the BC Environmental Assessment Office webpage.

The port authority will continue to engage with all levels of government, regulators, Aboriginal Groups and adjacent communities, as appropriate through project development. Should the proposed project continue to advance, it would also be subject to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Project and Environmental Review Process.

About the project

The proposed Point Grey Tidal Marsh Project is located along the eastern portion of the Point Grey Booming Grounds, on the north side of the Fraser River (North Arm). The proposed project would convert approximately 42 ha of existing mudflat into intertidal brackish marsh, which would provide high-value habitat for fish and wildlife. Brackish marshes are essential rearing areas for juvenile salmon, which helps to sustain Pacific Salmon stocks.

The site was formerly used as a log booming storage area.  Although the west end of the Point Grey Booming Grounds is still actively used for log booming by the forest industry, the eastern end of the property, where the project is proposed, has not been actively used for this purpose in several decades. Remnant woody debris is prevalent throughout the site. Immediately east of the property, there is an established intertidal brackish marsh. The existing mudflat is largely exposed at low tide, except for a few deep channels that have formed throughout the area.

Material used in the creation of tidal marsh would be naturally-occurring sand dredged from the Fraser River. It must meet regulatory standards related to contaminants.

The port authority has selected this site based on the potential of habitat enhancement to benefit a broad range of fish and wildlife species and ecological functions.

Cross-section of a constructed tidal marsh

Example Cross-Section of a Constructed Tidal Marsh

Timeline

Point Grey Timeline

Location

Point Grey before
Current state at low tide

Point Grey proposed
Proposed new habitat at low tide

Resources

February 20 to March 2014 – Point Grey Standwatch Surveys [PDF]
Spring 2014 – Discussion Paper McDonald and Point Grey Tidal Marsh Projects [PDF]
Spring/Summer 2014 – Point Grey Standwatch Surveys [PDF]
May 2014 – Ecological Conditions Report: Point Grey Tidal Marsh Project [PDF]
December 2014 to January 2015 – Point Grey Standwatch Bird Surveys [PDF]
July 2014 – Engagement Summary Report: McDonald and Point Grey Tidal Marsh Projects [PDF]
August 2014 – Input Consideration Memo: McDonald and Point Grey Todal Marsh Projects [PDF]